The Stone Tide: Adventures at the End of the World by Gareth E. Rees
‘The problems started the day we moved to Hastings…’
When Gareth E. Rees moves to a dilapidated Victorian house in Hastings he begins to piece together an occult puzzle connecting Aleister Crowley, John Logie Baird and the Piltdown Man hoaxer. As freak storms and tidal surges ravage the coast, Rees is beset by memories of his best friend’s tragic death in St Andrews twenty years earlier. Convinced that apocalypse approaches and his past is out to get him, Rees embarks on a journey away from his family, deep into history and to the very edge of the imagination. Tormented by possessed seagulls, mutant eels and unresolved guilt, how much of reality can he trust?
The Stone Tide is a novel about grief, loss, history and the imagination. It is about how people make the place and the place makes the person. Above all it is about the stories we tell to make sense of the world.
About the author
Gareth E. Rees is the founder and editor of the website Unofficial Britain, and author of Marshland (Influx Press, 2013). His work has featured in anthologies including An Unreliable Guide to London (Influx Press), Mount London (Penned in the Margins), Acquired for Development By... [Influx Press], Walking Inside Out: Contemporary British Psychogeography (Rowman & Littlefield), The Ashgate Companion to Paranormal Cultures (Ashgate), and the spoken word album A Dream Life of Hackney Marshes (Clay Pipe Music). He lives in Hastings with his two daughters and a dog named Hendrix.
Praise for The Stone Tide
In this wryly autofictional successor to Marshland, its author's vulnerability to the real meets once again his absolute clarity of hallucination, generating the perspective of a drugged polaroid camera exhausted after decades in search of the ideal seaside experience. It's a marriage made in Hastings. Simultaneously quotidian and grotesque, The Stone Tide is the funniest, most readable, most intelligently self-searching book I've read in years.
– M John Harrison, author of Light
It turns out that Hastings is not where psychogeographers go to retire, but to buy collapsing, haunted houses, break up with their life-partners and go batshit crazy.
– Will Ashon, author of Strange Labyrinth
Beautifully written... Hastings and its witches and magick and myth and legend and booze and dreams and fables.
– Salena Godden
Rees’s uncanny adventures by the sea provide rich entertainment.
– Matt Thorne
The Stone Tide shows us the town of Hastings as a complex map of past lives, hiding places, and scarred psyches. Geography and history can, it seems, hold a person together when all else fails. It's a painful way to exist, Gareth Rees tells us, but still – a fascinating one to read about.
– Aliya Whiteley, author of The Beauty
It's a cliche to talk about being haunted by a book but I feel The Stone Tide has been following me about, rattling its chains, and generally jangling up my thoughts.
– Travis Elborough, author of A Walk in the Park
Remorselessly entertaining. Gareth E. Rees' East Sussex occult odyssey gives the bloated corpse of the mid-life crisis memoir a salty seaside French kiss of life.
– Ben Thompson
[An] Engaging and touching psychogeographical exploration of present-day and historical Hastings.
– Fortean Times
Rees’ genius lies very much in his comedic details and observations... exhilarating, truly original and highly entertaining.
– The Contemporary Small Press
A hybrid of the richest, wildest sort, part memoir, part fiction, all broilingly mad. It starts with a death and ends in ecstatic vision. Chapters modelled as comic strips, historical docu-fictions and MRI-induced dreamquests come spilling from the page, like the track listing of some impossibly eclectic vintage prog LP.
A work of breathtaking originality.
– Psychogeographic Review
Rees has written a work of the rarest vision and ambition – it’s introspective, brutally honest, other-worldly and yet grounded.
It's astonishing and heartbreaking, and possibly invents a new genre: Personal Deep Topography.
– Owen Booth, author of What We're Teaching Our Sons
So compulsive that I read it voraciously, a rare treat! The theme of the past, the narrator's memories and interior life intruding upon and merging with his present reality were, for me, reminiscent of W.G. Sebald, particularly The Rings of Saturn.
– Chris Josiffe, author of Gef! The Strange Tale of an Extra-Special Talking Mongoose
Hastings as strange attractor pulling @hackneymarshman into a vortex of unstable locality, mythical histories and dark comedy. Also some deeply personal and poignant journeys (outward and inward)across geographies & time. Superb!
– Fife Psychogeographical Collective
The prose somewhat similar to Christopher Priest’s (i.e. light on the surface yet deeper in import), Rees clearly invested time polishing the novel to its dark shine.
An ingenious meld of fact, fiction and various unrealities, The Stone Tide is a bold and inventive read, incredibly imaginative and poignant.
– Warped Perspective
Rees has added an ethical dimension to psychogeographical writing that was not there before. Any tendency to hoover up the resonances of the terrain and turn them into fine stories with distinctive ambience is dispelled by The Stone Tide. This book makes clear that these are places not literary backdrops, that they are sites with specificities that can wedge in the flesh of reader and writer alike like thorns on a bramble; they can break a body like jagged rocks can.
An unusual, deeply personal account that offers up many wider issues to consider alongside a psychogeography of Hastings. Beguiling yet brutal in its honesty.
– Never Imitate
Gareth E. Rees is a post-punk Sebald.
– Ashley Stokes
A novel in which the central character has the same name as the author: ooooh! Dilapidated Victorian housing: aaahh! An occult puzzle connecting Aleister Crowley, John Logie Baird and the Piltdown Man hoaxer: eeeeee! Freak storms: wooooo! Possessed seagulls, mutant eels and unresolved guilt? Hold me back!
– Turnaround Blog
A ghost story of time, place and imagination in turns spooky, funny, thought-provoking, educating and entertaining.
– Vic Templar, author of Taking Candy from a Dog
An exciting, fast-moving mix of travelogue, reminiscence, occult adventure and urban wyrd... this is a deeply personal, profoundly moving and truthful autobiography. Highly recommended.
– Music For Zombies
From Wave Seer and Gareth E. Rees: 'U118', a discordant track about Hastings' infamous U-boat wreck, produced by Fritz Catlin (23 Skidoo), art by Liminal Londoner.
THE STONE TIDE by Martin Fuller.
Gareth E. Rees features in this recent Irish audio documentary detailing psychogeography in the UK and Ireland.
Paperback ISBN: 978-1910312070
Ebook ISBN: 978-1910312087
Limited edition hardback ISBN: 978-1910312285
Publication date: March 2018
Formats: Hardback / Paperback / eBook